BOSTON (CBS) – Former Celtics captain Paul Pierce didn’t want to be part of the rebuilding process in Boston, and neither did Kevin Garnett or Doc Rivers.
But the trio did not ask their way out of town, and Pierce says their departures were mutual — especially Doc Rivers’ highly criticized move to Los Angeles.
“I know the insides with everything that’s going on. A lot of stuff got blown out of proportion because of the media, but Doc has always said he didn’t want to be a part of a rebuilding situation. I’ve always stated that the past four or five years. After the season, the owners decided they wanted to go in that direction. It made Doc look like he was quitting but at the same time it was mutual—everything was mutual at the end,” Pierce in an interview with SLAM Magazine’s Adam Figman. “The trade, Doc leaving. I didn’t want to be a part of rebuilding; Kevin didn’t want to be a part of rebuilding; Doc didn’t want to be part of rebuilding. I think it was all mutual.”
“We’ve done so much for the franchise that they wanted to help on our end,” he said. “So Doc went to L.A., and they sent us to Brooklyn for a chance to win a Championship. That’s pretty much the way it was. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Pierce, who spent all 15 years of his carer in Boston before being sent to Brooklyn this offseason along with Garnett and Jason Terry, said he is still getting used to life in New York, but is looking forward to a new opportunity to fight for a title. He’s not sure how long it will take his Nets team to jell, but he’s confident they’ll be in the Championship picture next season.
“It’s really hard to put a timetable on it, because you don’t know the chemistry. For instance, me, Kevin and Ray, we got together and jelled instantly. But that doesn’t happen all the time, that was just a special situation,” he said. “It’s possible it could happen again. You never could really put a time on it—it’s something that just naturally happens.”
Gallery: Paul Pierce’s Celtics Career
While Pierce said he hasn’t gotten a chance to look over the NBA Schedule, which was released on Tuesday, he is looking forward to his and Garnett’s return to Boston on January 26.
“Oh it’s definitely gonna be emotional,” said Pierce. “You spend almost half of your life in Boston, so a lot of emotions are gonna run deep, because of friends and the things you accomplished there. The fans there, the season tickets owners—I know a lot of them. I’ll see all those people.”